My kids’ room reached critical level recently. If it had been a nuclear power plant, red lights and sirens would have been going off.
It was so deep with toy debris there was really no way to walk to the far wall and turn off a night light or open their blinds. It stayed like that far too long because not only were my kids too intimidated to even start cleaning it up; I was, too. It only got worse the longer we all ignored it; as though the Fairies of Debris snuck in each night and played among the ruble. Somehow, despite no one being able to get in it, it kept getting worse. I was worrying that any day we might see a filming crew from Hoarders, Junior.
My friend helped me get started one morning after we both had a stiff shot of caffeine and a good night’s sleep. As best she could, stepping over and around the wreckage, she went in. It took me a few tries to cross the threshold. And maybe a valium. Probably not, but maybe.
We practically raked out the layers of dirty, broken, and mismatched toys. We cleaned the parts of the toys they still use and made piles until there were nearly complete sets of toys and the kitchen accessories were actually near the toy kitchen. Foam swords were placed near other foam swords. Learning ”computers” were stacked together. We found games I had forgotten they owned.
The toys they no longer had interest in were snuck out in a garbage bag to be donated because I knew I would get vehement pledges of loyalty, declarations of this being their “favorite” toy ever, and crocodile tears if they saw what we were doing. We even located the floor and had enough room to vacuum up weeks and weeks of dust, dirt, and pet hair.
Now, their room is perfect!
There is a cubby holder for each category of toy, the toys they no longer have interest in are gone, the dirty toys have been cleaned, their beds are made, and even their stuffies are lined up neatly in a cute little row. It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. I took several pictures and compared them with the “before”s. I posted the after on social media. I nearly cried at the peace and beauty of it. I go back in there when I need a Zen moment.
And, they are NEVER EVER EVER going back in there again. I am not kidding. Nope. Not to sleep and certainly not to play. Never. Some rules a Mom just has to stay firm on. The end.